On a typical day at the Eastern Ridge School, children laugh, learn something new, play with friends, create beautiful artwork from natural materials, and get dirty. They also might practice yoga and mindfulness, track animals, work in the garden, and look for shapes in the clouds.

Our day is broken into project blocks, which are the core of our program. Rather than being prescriptive, project work emerges out of the interests of the children, with teachers facilitating and co-researching with the children.

Project block time includes imaginative play, drama, art, language and literacy, journaling, songs and music, early mathematics exploration, and lots and lots of scientific study of the natural world.

We intend for our activities to flow naturally from one investigation or creative outlet to the next throughout the day. We strive not to interrupt the children when they are immersed in work or play; however, we also recognize that young children benefit from a routine. Therefore, we think of our days as following a framework that allows for flexibility while also maintaining a consistent flow.

Framework for a Typical Day

The times shown in schedule below are approximate and may shift depending on the needs and interests of the children on a particular day.

8:30-9:00Arrival and free play (typically outdoors)
9:00-9:15Group meeting (typically outdoors)
9:15-10:15Project block (typically outdoors)
10:15-10:30Snack (often outdoors)
10:30-11:30Project block (typically outdoors)
11:30-12:00Free play (typically outdoors)
12:00-12:30Lunch (often outdoors)
12:30-2:00Nap and rest time
2:00-3:00Snack and quiet, focused afternoon activities
3:00-4:00 or 3:00-5:00Extended-day activities (supervised play and exploration, typically outdoors)

A note on nap and rest time: It is important for young children to have time to rest and enjoy quiet activities during the day. At Eastern Ridge, children rest in the afternoon for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on their needs and adhering to the Virginia licensing regulations. Children who are not sleeping after 30 minutes may join quiet afternoon activities.